Stuff to buy if you move to a new apartment
“Und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne, Der uns beschützt und der uns hilft zu leben.”
That’s Hesse, and I think he’s right. Moving to a new place is magical in certain ways - it offers a change to reflect on who you want to be and how you want to mould your surroundings. Style is a matter of taste, so I will focus on generic items that can influence either comfort or cost in an unobtrusive way.
Here are some items I have found to be very useful, and I would advise the reader (let’s call him Maarten) to buy these.
A pull-up bar
Even if you are a gym rat, there are few things as energizing than waking up and just cranking out a single pull-up in the morning. If you mount it somewhere you pass frequently (for instance your bathroom door), you can even commit to doing a pull-up whenever you pass below it - ‘Greasing the groove’, as Pavel Tsatsouline would say.
This is a nice one that does not require any screws and still feel stable.
Cleaning: Robot and window vacuums
This is a funny item. Years ago, I thought this was something that people bought that were lazy and had too much money and no shoes with shoelaces that could be eaten. In the last several years, however, these robots have become quite advanced (and I am not a student any more).
Think of it as a dishwasher for your entire house: you set up a schedule to clean whenever you are out, and when you come home the entire apartment is just that little bit fresher than it would have been without your robotic servant. As added bonus, you will not place items on the ground anymore, because you know that Robbie the robot needs to be able to move around at noon today.
I would recommend buying a Roborock, in particular an S6 or S7. If you get one, get an extra mop.
Another thing that makes a boring task a bit more fun is a window vacuum - his is a good set.
Energy savings: heat/light/appliances
Let’s assume Maarten choose an apartment with a prime location but of a little older standard. When moving to a new apartment, especially if it is an older building, it always makes sense to check if there are any quick wins to be made to save energy. These often pay for themselves, especially with the current prices. The big three are: heating, light and appliances.
For heating, I would generally recommend to check three things: the windows, doors, and radiators. Think: no drafts, no cold surfaces, maximum heating efficiency.
You want to minimize drafts. For winodws, check if window seals are new enough and close tightly (a candle is great for finding drafts, a more fancy option is a thermal camera). If you find any drafts, replace the seals.
For doors, it might make sense to install draft seals, especially on the front door.
Another quick win in terms of energy savings is replacing the shower head. It’s nice to have a new one, and if you buy a new one, why not buy this one. It saves hot water and long-haired visitors will still be happy with the flow.
Vent the radiators as soon as you move in, and consider placing radioator foil behind the radiators - Tonzon is the brand most popular in the Netherlands.
All lights can and should become LED, but this might not always make sense financially, for instance if the lamps are already halogen-based. My rule of thumb is: if you can feel heat emanating from a lamp while it is on, replace it with a lamp. You’re not Croesus.
Moving to a new place also gives you the chance to re-evaluate the appliances that you have and buy newer, more energy-saving ones. ECO-mode on everything!
And don’t forget to balance your radiators!
You probably have an office chair. You probably have a new nice floor that you want to protect. These wheels solve that problem:
Also - now’s the time to replace the floor protectors on all your chairs and couches.
Air filter and humidifier
Maarten surely wants to live smack-dab in the city centre. This means pollution. You can have nice clean air, think of the sea or a forest, right in your living room. Why wouldn’t you want that?
Two good choices are a Philips 2000 for the whole apartment, or IKEA Förnuftig (lower air volume, but cheaper filters).
Also consider measuring your indoor humidity and correcting it to 30-70% with a humidifier if necessary.
You’re Dutch, buy a Moccamaster already. You won’t regret it.